It’s not one of the prettiest streets in Bath, but South Parade is ideal for people arriving by train or bus as it’s only five minutes from the station and is also within strolling distance of sights and staggering distance of restaurants and bars. With the help of a £3m makeover, the Grade I Listed Georgian townhouse changed from a tired b&b into a modern hotel that opened in February 2010.
Petit, but chic. Decked out in yellow, red or mauve colour schemes, the 21 rooms come in Standard, Deluxe and Studio sizes. Rooms are reminiscent of expensive bachelor pads designed to impress girls: check out the Philippe Starck and Hansgrohe fittings and White Company products. Well, it worked on me – even the raindance shower heads that I usually hate because your hair gets wet whether you want it to or not, look sleek and inviting here. The 1700 pocket sprung beds (I’m taking their word for it, I didn’t have time to count them all) are super comfy, all rooms have 32” plasma TVs and jars of colourful sweeties are on offer instead of the usual boring mini-bar fare. Studio rooms have a little kitchen area for late-night snacks and a seating area to chill out in. Avoid the ground floor room as it’s right next to the entrance and be aware that there can be street noise – especially on weekends.
Black and white zebra print and splashes of bright orange brightens up the bar/lounge/reception area – in the morning you can get breakfast here or grab a cocktail in the evening before heading out on the town. Outside there is a street café vibe with outdoor seating and in winter blankets and hot water bottles are given out to keep drinkers warm.
Eating and drinking
Pastries, fruits and cereals are on offer for breakfast and a new bar/breakfast room called Circo has just opened underneath the hotel. It's decked out with candles, Chesterfields and a circular bar featuring white panelled walls and splashes of burnt orange. It's open independently in the day for coffee or at night for cocktails, including the Halcyon's signature mash-up of tequila, Chambord, triple sec and raspberries.
Two bikes are available to rent, try and book early to nab them.
No-nonsense, helpful staff members give a friendly welcome and act as an unofficial concierge service to tell you the best places to eat and drink.
Who stays there
Younger guests and couples on city breaks, but also a mid-week mixture of business guests and leisure visitors.
Continental breakfast costs £6.99 and cooked breakfast (available on weekends only) costs £9.99. Parking is in the nearby car park or new Southgate shopping centre multi-storey at a cost of around £12 a day. Room prices are lowest mid-week and throughout winter (apart from Christmas time).
- High-Speed Internet
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- People watching
Pros & Cons
- Affordable luxury option
- Stylish rooms
- Street noise on weekends
- Small rooms